Eating authentic Brazilian food at Copacabana Beach


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RIO DE JANEIRO — Along Copacabana Beach, there's a colorful little restaurant called Brasileirinho that serves a whole lot of flavor. It is a place Mirka da Pivea, a Rio Resident who lived in Utah, knows well.

"They have like different kinds of foods from different parts of Brazil which is nice so you can get a little bit of everything," Pivea said.

The outdoor restaurant serves authentic Brazilian food like feijoada, a stew of beans with steak and pork. It is served alongside a mix of colorful dishes like fried yuca, collard greens and rice. Mirka said the colorful cuisine is the result of the country's colonization.

"Some of these were not eaten by the rich people here in Brazil, they were eaten by the slaves and then they became traditional food," Pivea said.

Enslaved Africans had a role in developing the countries cuisine along with its fair share of immigrants primarily from Portugal, Italy, Spain, and Germany. One aspect Mirka said is not common in many of the dishes is spice.

"Usually we have more salt and garlic but not that much of pepper," Pivea said.

Fresh juices are also a common item on the table like abacaxi com hortelã, a pineapple, mint juice. Mirka said there are different roles for different family members when preparing these meals.

"The women, they don't go to the grill, they do the side dishes," Pivea said. "The men, they work with the meat."

The Rio resident said no matter who's behind the cooking, whenever there's food, it is going to be a good time.

"I consider Brazilians very festive people they like to make party of everything so they like to celebrate," Pivea said.

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